For Andrew Walton, becoming an artist was in the cards. “The art chooses you, not the other way round,” says Walton, who is known for his detailed renderings of ships and boats and those who handle them.
“My grandfather was a talented watercolorist,” the 57-year-old Briton says. “My interest in art began with him, and as I had a modicum of talent, I ended up with a few school art prizes and found myself pursuing an artistic career.”
Growing up by the sea gave Walton’s interest a focus. “My father always had a dinghy, and from [when I was] a very small boy he would take me out sailing,” he says. “My love of the sea stemmed from that quality time with my father. He worked hard, and I didn’t see a lot of him, so the time in the boat was very precious … hopefully for him, as well.”
Walton graduated from England’s Kingston University, then worked with some U.K. publishing houses. He has shown his work with the Royal Society of Marine Artists and at the International Marine Art Exhibition and Sale at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut.
Racing on Long Island Sound shows the craft Walton admires most: the small boats that ordinary folk own and use. “I love to create a story with a cast of characters … lots of action and tension combined with, hopefully, a convincing sense of the sea and sky,” he says. “Here, I wanted to get that end-of-day feel — the last run to home, and last in buys the beer.”
Portraying the crew accurately is an important aspect of the piece. “Without them, the boat ain’t going anywhere, and without getting it all trimmed out, the crew won’t be getting anywhere fast, either,” Walton says. “There is a symbiotic relationship between the crew, the boat and the elements. That’s what interests me, and that’s what I strive to portray. I hope people enjoy losing themselves in that moment, looking at the work.”
To view this and other works by Andrew Walton, visit the J. Russell Jinishian Gallery website at jrusselljinishiangallery.com or visit the gallery at 1899 Bronson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut.
This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue.